What Is a Consensus Mechanism?
A consensus mechanism is a fault-tolerant mechanism that is used in computer and blockchain systems to achieve the necessary agreement on a single data value or a single state of the network among distributed processes or multi-agent systems, such as with cryptocurrencies. It is useful in record-keeping, among other things.
Consensus Mechanism Explained
In any centralized system, like a database holding key information about driving licenses in a country, a central administrator has the authority to maintain and update the database. The task of making any updates – like adding/deleting/updating names of people who qualified for certain licenses – is performed by a central authority who remains the sole in-charge of maintaining genuine records.
Public blockchains that operate as decentralized, self-regulating systems work on a global scale without any single authority. They involve contributions from hundreds of thousands of participants who work on verification and authentication of transactions occurring on the blockchain, and on the block mining activities.
In such a dynamically changing status of the blockchain, these publicly shared ledgers need an efficient, fair, real-time, functional, reliable, and secure mechanism to ensure that all the transactions occurring on the network are genuine and all participants agree on a consensus on the status of the ledg